In this episode we discuss with Sami on why it's important to have transparency inside the enterprise with experience data. Having the data available to all stakeholders, partners and colleagues is crucial. This creates trust and focus for the whole everyone.
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Pasi Nikkanen: Welcome to Happy Today podcast. This is a podcast for those who want to improve service experience of internal services. If you use ServiceNow or other enterprise service management system, then this is for you. All right, welcome to episode five of Happy Today podcast. Today's topic is transparency of experience data. This what we mean is that, how to get away from the gut feeling and actually start showing the numbers. Transparency with the employees, with the partners, with your vendors and the service desk, so everybody agreeing on what the level should be. So Sami, how do you see the topic?
Sami Kallio: I think I see it's kind of, you all know the theme, metaphor of poke and phone reaction. I think in many cases that is still the situation. If you are delivering service now for some company, the end users of that company are really far from what you do and how you get the briefing, what you should be doing. That's only one example and in many cases like the whole service desk in a way, the people who are making decisions in service desk are really far from the real discussion and real connection to the end users.
All these partners like ITSM Tool Provider, service owners, service desk teams, agents, everybody should understand the value. The value meaning the end user's experience and how much and how efficient services are for them. We really think that this transparency between all partners is really, really key. For traditional Service Management, sometimes they are trying to measure and I think they are done to measure the first line of ServiceDesk. That's kind of the culture in ServiceDesk and the whole service management is, this is the first line's thing. It is not ...
Pasi Nikkanen: True. True.
Sami Kallio: That's what we try to break and why for us transparency's really, really key in all this what we do, it's not enough you have data and you measure things, but to make it useable for everybody. That they can link their own decision making to this, then you start to get scores.
Pasi Nikkanen: I think, even if you're measuring it, then you know what the trend is but if it stays as a KPI in one monthly meeting and nobody knows what it is, then you're kind of missing the whole point of what you can do with this. How to make it like a strategic thing, that user experience, this is what we are driving for.
Sami Kallio: In episode one, we were talking about the interviews that I did in the beginning of this company. One of those interviews was a CIO of one company and the CIO said to me that what he's now getting from their current provider is that he's getting an Excel report two months after things happened. He said that, "I can't use that for everything." We talked about more about this. He said that his problem is that he is very typically in the lunch restaurant, having a lunch with the business owners of the company.
If somebody says to him that the service is crap, he can say that, "I will look into it." He cannot defend himself because he doesn't know what really is the situation now. Transparency and continuous transparency. What this guy asked me to do is to "Please, when you are doing the product maybe, do it in a way that I will also have a mobile application and I can check under the table." That what is the current situation is exactly now so I can defend my team and they'll, "Okay, I will look into it," but in overall we are doing quite well even today. If we are not, I really know that now I have to react.
Pasi Nikkanen: I had the same story from this, another CIO. There was a new CEO in the company. They had this kickoff meeting. In the break, the CIO was showing the CEO that, "Hey. Look, I have this app. This is how we measure the employee experience." After the break the CEO was like, "This is actually what we want all of us to do, the IT is doing today." It is really, really powerful when you have it doing numbers, you have it transparently and you have it in real time all the time. I think this whole monthly reporting thing is really dead because people don't really trust it.
I used to work within MSP as well, and automating reports was impossible because there were people who wanted to touch it manually before it goes to the customer just to try to make the numbers look better, or something like that. I really don't understand the point, but there was a lot of effort on that. When all this effort, if you just show it transparently for the customer, everybody knows that, "Okay, I know these are the numbers. You are being transparent with me." Now what we do together to actually make improvements, it's the whole point of all these exercises that we're doing.
Sami Kallio: Also, there is three words that are really linked to each other. First there is transparency.
Pasi Nikkanen: Yes.
Sami Kallio: Then there is trust.
Pasi Nikkanen: Yes.
Sami Kallio: Then there is focus. You cannot go directly to focus because then if you try to do it, I think, I think, I think as you started this podcast, it's always like how somebody is thinking that services should be doing. I even had a very weird discussion, I have to tell this, with one MSP. Typically MSPs are really good in this thinking. They really are driving things in this direction, but there was one guy who said to me that, "I don't want to show the data to the customer if it's not aligned with our strategy."
That was for me like really red card. Then you should change your strategy, not to hide the results because then you are definitely doing wrong. Something wrong. Because now again, and you just are not lying. They are just telling the truth, how they felt and if you have enough of that feedback you can trust it and then do common decisions. That's the core here. Being transparent openly with all partners, getting them involved, getting them to use this data to really think about what should be done to get your end users more happy.
Sharing this data as a customer will help you to direct your partners in right directions. It was one of our customers here, the guy who started a new company. He had been using our product already in the earlier company. What he did in the new company, he made sure that he has this data when he started. When he started, he went to meet all the partners one by one and teams starting each every of those meetings depend, not depending on what the company was doing for them. It was applicational services, whatever. He started with showing data.
Pasi Nikkanen: He had this big screen on his room, just when the service owner comes in first asking, "So how is your service doing?" "Oh, you don't know. Well, let's look at the screen." With that kind of approach, everybody starts looking at the screen. The screen was then actually next to the coffee machine at the IT department in a few weeks after that, so making sure that everybody's very transparent. We have some other customer case as well, like where you might even have a outsourced vendor and they might be located in a offshore country.
But the guys make sure that hey, they actually have the screen there and they will follow it up. Just going to the agent level also with the transparency, not just on the C-level and with the partners, but actually for the people who do the work, it allows them to actually target the small things that make huge differences. They allow them to, you empower the agents to say that, "Hey, this is actually the reason why we are getting bad customer experience or bad employee experience."
Sami Kallio: There is a really easy, it's not a bad thing if the agent hears that you are talking too fast or you re talking with too much technical terms. Then I can adjust my own way of working. Hiding that will not help anybody to change or get better in what they do.
Pasi Nikkanen: I think it's like we were talking one episode that the employees already have that experience. It just that, are you exposing it? Are you showing it open to everybody so that everybody knows what that experience is? That's the only way to improve anything. If you just keep it there and you just, it's kind of like putting your head to the bush and now I'm hiding away from it. It doesn't really help anything.
Sami Kallio: I'd say the main point with these transparencies, yes. Again, those three words. Transparency equals trust equals focus. Also I think the whole thing, what is the core here is that is a cultural change for many organizations to really focus their development on this issue. Not how efficient IT internally is. That's kind of the, what you should do in your service. That if you are a provider, if you're a customer, just openly start to discuss these issues. Don't try to hide them and have it continuously on the table. Not two months later as-
Pasi Nikkanen: Do you remember this one customer who, when we were doing the rollout they wanted to do all this kind of access control things on the ServiceNow environment?
Sami Kallio: Yeah.
Pasi Nikkanen: Then, when they went to production something went wrong and suddenly everybody was able to see everything. First we were kind of like, "Oh no, now what is the customer going to say?" They were just like, "Oh. Actually this is how we want it."
Sami Kallio: I remember.
Pasi Nikkanen: They first spent a lot of time trying to figure out who can see what, and then with human mistake everybody saw everything and they were really happy.
Sami Kallio: Exactly. I think that what we have seen in really, really transparent use that one of our customers already did announce this service. This continuous measurement analytic tool that we are having. That you can, I think this company has about 6000 end users. They sent an email or published a news in the internet that everybody can go here and check the results continuously. I haven't checked how many people there are true that shows ultimate transparency that everybody can really see that how things are in IT and what are the areas with what might need some development also.
Pasi Nikkanen: Transparency, like you said, means focus. It means a way to everybody agree. I think it's now time for you, the listener to actually talk with your customer, talk with your provider and say that, "Hey, what if we would actually just everybody, see the same numbers all the time and make focused decision based on experience data?"
Sami Kallio: Everybody will be happier.
Pasi Nikkanen: I think they would. I think they would. I think that's the topic of today. I also challenge you to challenge us. If you feel that what we were talking today is somehow wrong, you could find our contact information, Sami and myself at happysignals.com. Come there. Shoot us a email or respond to the YouTube video or where you want to do it, and we're happy to being proven wrong. All right. Thank you guys. Take care.